Aloo Chaat

The meaning of blogging changed for me ever since I did the Thali meals for Valli’s Thali Mela. I switched to the Thali theme at the last possible minute. So I had one hand in the stove cooking the thali and the other hand in the laptop uploading the pictures and making a hurried post. It was really exhausting since I was not at all prepared and by the time it was over, I was totally washed out.

But little did I know the after effects! Now after doing that theme, I find my mind always thinking of a whole set of food than just one single dish. I was really sorry I had to skip the mini thali theme last month, with the shifting and packing and all that, it would have been too much to handle.

So when my husband forgot to take his lunch box, instead of muttering and sulking, I happily cooked up a few more dishes in small batches and served him as a lavish dinner when he got back from work. It all started off with a simple Aloo Chaat recipe for the ‘Evening Snacks’ theme, but then snowballed into a mini thali itself. Forgot to make a dessert, but will do it the next time hubby forgets his lunch again :)

My camera is still missing, so I borrowed a very old one from my FIL.


  • Aloo Chaat
  • Dry Potato Curry
  • Moong Dal Tadka
  • Raita : Chopped onions and tomatoes in seasoned yoghurt
  • Vegetable Biryani
  • Curd Rice : Rice mixed with curd and then seasoned with tempered mustard seeds and red chillies
  • Mango Pickle, MIL made
  • Pappad

Recipe Source : Tarla Dalal


  • Baby potatoes                         :           16 – 20
  • Onion                                          :            1 small
  • Tomato                                      :            1 small
  • Lemon juice                              :           2 tsp
  • Chaat Masala                            :           1 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves                     :          2 tbsp


  1. Wash the potatoes and pressure cook them for 2 whistles or until they are cooked, but firm.
  2.  Once the pressure drops, take them out, peel them and keep aside.
  3. Chop the onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Mix with the potatoes, add the chaat masala and lemon juice.
  4. Mix well till everything is combined. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings per your taste.
  5. Refrigerate and serve chilled, decorated with chopped coriander leaves.

Vegetable Biryani (One of the many versions), serves 2-3:


  • Basmati rice                :    1 cup
  • Mixed vegetables     :    1 – 1.5 cups (Carrots, beans, cauliflower, potatoes, peas, corn etc)
  • Cinnamon sticks       :    1″ piece
  • Cloves                           :    2-3
  • Ghee                               :  2 tsp + 2 tsp

To grind

  • Coriander leaves     :         1 bunch (comes to about 1 – 1.5 cups)
  • Mint leaves                :         1 bunch (same as above), stems removed
  • Ginger garlic paste  :        2 tsp
  • Green chillies            :        3-4, per taste
  • Jeera                             :        1 tsp
  • Onion                            :        1 (optional)
  • Cinnamon stick        :        1″ piece (optional)
  • cloves                           :        1-2  (optional)


  1. Wash and soak the basmati rice in 2 cups of water. Let it sit for 10-15 min at least. The longer it sits, the better.
  2. Grind the items in the ‘to grind’ list. Keep aside.
  3. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into small cubes of 1″ size. The size is actually one’s own preference.
  4. Drain the rice. In a kadai, heat 2 tsp ghee. Fry the rice for 2-3 minutes until it changes colour slightly. Move it to the vessel in which its going to be cooked.
  5. In the same kadai, heat the remaining 2 tsp ghee and saute the vegetables for 3-4 minutes. You don’t have to cook it, just letting it coat in ghee for a couple of minutes. Add the ground paste and cook till the raw smell of it disappears. This might take about 5 minutes or so.
  6. Add this to the rice. Add salt and two cups of water as well and cook until the rice is done. I do it in the rice cooker. In my pressure cooker, this gets done in 2 whistles, but keep in mind that it might vary from cooker to cooker.
  7. Serve with a raita.

Linked to:


Dahi Vada

Cheating picture No.2. This was made as part of the Punjabi Thali two months back, now getting featured on its own.

Another interesting fact about me: My entire dress collection fits comfortably into a single rack of the standard wardrobe!

I simply don’t have any interest in that section anymore. I recently got two sets of dresses stitched, but they have been sitting inside the cover well over an year.

Enjoy the recipe.


  • Vada                                      :             8
  • Yogurt                                  :             3 – 4 cups
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder                      :           1/2 tsp
  • Roasted Cumin Powder     :      1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind/Dates chutney :      2-3 tbsp


  1. Check out this post for making vadas. Once they are cooked and taken out of the oil, put them in a bowl filled with hot water.
  2. Let the vadas soak in the water for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the yogurt so that there are no lumps. Add salt as required and chili powder and cumin powder.
  4. Take the vadas from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Let them soak in the yogurt for at least half an hour.
  5. Refridgerate and serve garnished with coriander and chat masala.

Linked to:


I was eagerly looking forward to BM 17. The new apartment has more windows than walls and I was really looking forward to clicking some pictures in natural light. No more taking the food to the car park as I was doing in the previous house.

Well, now with the camera missing I just don’t know what to do. So I thought of posting recipes from the Thali meals I did for Valli’s Thali Mela.

And thought I will share some interesting facts to distract you all from the same old pictures.

Fact 1 : We don’t have television at home. Haven’t had one for the past 6 years. 

Enjoy the vada recipe when you get over the shock :)

Recipe Source : Tickling Palates


  • Urad dal                               :            1 cup
  • Corn Flour                           :             2 tbsp
  • Green Chilies                      :             2, chopped fine
  • Onion                                     :             1/2 small, chopped fine (optional)
  • Ginger                                    :              1/2 ” piece, chopped fine
  • Whole Black pepper        :             4-5
  • Curry leaves                        :              1 sprig, chopped fine
  • Salt
  • Oil for deep frying


  1. Wash and soak the dal for 30 – 40 minutes. Drain the water before grinding
  2. In a wet grinder or mixie jar, grind the dal with a little water. Grind to get a smooth and thick batter . It should be thick, so add water, if required to help with the grinding, in tablespoons and don’t add more than 3 tbsp.
  3. Add corn flour at the last stage of grinding so that everything is incorporated and you have a fine thick smooth batter.
  4. Transfer the batter into a bowl. If you are making the vadas right away, keep the batter in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or leave it in the fridge till you need it.
  5. Radhika has included a consistency check, which helped me a lot. She has mentioned that the batter should be thick enough not to fall down if you are scooping it up. It should also be so light, that a tiny portion (about 1/2 tsp) when dipped in water, should float and should not sink.
  6. Heat the oil for deep frying in a pan.
  7. Add onion, chopped ginger, curry leaves, chilies and pepper to the batter and mix well. In a clean plastic sheet (or a plantain leaf), place about 2 tbsp of the batter. Pat it into the vada shape (small doughnut shape) and put a hole in the middle. Keep dipping your fingers in a bowl of water  to help with the patting and shaping of the vada, else the batter will stick to your fingers.
  8. When the oil is hot, gingerly take the vada out of the plastic sheet and slide it carefully into the oil. Be careful while doing this.
  9. When the vada turns brown, flip it over and cook the top portion too. Take off the heat, drain in a kitchen towel. Finish the rest of the batter the same way and enjoy the vadas with coconut chutney.
  10. Tip : I kept the batter in the fridge the whole time and was taking them out only at the time of shaping them.

Linked to :

Garlic Peas Rice

Come Wednesday and I realized that my camera was missing.

We shifted to a new apartment two weeks back and now life is all in boxes and suitcases since we didn’t do any woodwork. With great difficulty, I have managed to make the place in habitable state and contain all the mess in one of the bedrooms.

The most beautiful spot in the house is the balcony, though we ended up spending more time in the bathrooms. Reason – the bathroom latch. It just won’t open from inside!

The day here starts with me or hubby asking the other with ‘Do you have any idea where —– is?’. And the confident reply would be : ‘Oh, its there in one of the boxes.’

So, please bear with me while I hunt for my camera and please visit the original post at my Blog Hop Partner Nupur’s space for some beautiful clicks. Mine were taken with the webcam :D.


  • Basmati Rice               :           1 cup
  • Garlic pods                  :           8 – 10
  • Green Peas                  :           1/2 cup
  • Capsicum                     :           1/2 of a small one
  • Red Chilies                  :           2
  • Ghee                               :           1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds                :           1 tsp
  • Bay leaves                    :           1 -2, optional
  • Salt and Pepper         :            per taste


  1. Wash and clean the rice till the water runs clean. Soak and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Peel and mince the garlic. Chop the capsicum into fine pieces.
  3. Heat one tsp of ghee in a kadai. Drain the rice and saute it for a minute. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the remaining ghee and add the cumin seeds, red chilies and bay leaf. Once its done spluttering, add the minced garlic and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the green peas, capsicum, salt and pepper, and saute for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat and mix with the rice.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and microwave for 10-12 minutes or till the rice is done.
  7. Serve with dal, yogurt and a pickle.

Linked to:  Blog Hop Wednesdays